‘Rabbi’ Michael Lerner Tramples Jewish Values With Anti-Israel Slander
Writing in the Huffington Post, Michael Lerner of Tikkun Magazine says that Israel’s Prime Minister attributing the Holocaust to Palestinian influence over Hitler is a “Blood Libel”-level lie.
…In a speech to an international group of Zionist leaders attending the 37th International Zionist Congress, Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Hitler was intending to only banish Jews from Europe, until he met with the anti-Semitic Palestinian al-Husseini, the “Mufti” of Jerusalem who convinced him to murder all the Jews.
“As Israeli Policy Forum’s policy director Michael Koplow explains, ‘Netanyahu brought up al-Husseini’s well-known connection to the Nazis and vocal support of Hitler in warning about the dangers of Palestinian incitement regarding Israel’s alleged efforts to alter the status quo on the Temple Mount. His connection between these two seemingly disparate threads was that al-Husseini had instigated riots in the 1920s by accusing the Jews of wanting to destroy al-Aqsa, and he later met with Hitler in 1941 and — in Netanyahu’s telling — convinced Hitler to exterminate European Jewry rather than expel them. So the implication is that false warnings about Jews trying to take over al-Aqsa, or to even just change the Temple Mount status quo, lead to attempts to exterminate Jews, including the Holocaust.’
Really? That’s the implication?
…[T]he historical distortion here, far from being a sudden ‘oops,’ is part of the larger picture of hatred toward Palestinians that Netanyahu has been promoting throughout his political life.
Bibi was wrong to imply that Hitler would not have enacted the Final Solution before the Mufti urged him to do so, and he said so himself.
But this is not a blood libel. A blood libel is where the libel is meant to incite the population to murder people, and nothing that Netanyahu said could be construed that way, except by people blinded with extreme hate like Lerner — hate that he projects onto Netanyahu.
Bibi’s speech wasn’t about the Mufti. It was about the lies that Israel’s enemies (like Michael Lerner) voice about Israel today. Netanyahu listed ten lies and showed them to be false. The story about the Mufti was an aside for Lie #2.
Bibi’s point wasn’t that Palestinians who today make up lies about Al Aqsa have the potential to create a new Holocaust. (Though if they had the power to do that, they very well might — why would anyone think that they would treat Jews better than Muslims treat each other? But that wasn’t the point.)
The part that Lerner refers to in the speech was a short aside from the main points, and Bibi’s message was that the idea that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger is a lie that has been around for 100 years, one that is still repeated even as the Mosque remains intact under Jewish rule. To take Netanyahu’s aside about the Mufti — who indeed wanted to kill all the Jews — and call that a “blood libel” is itself a libel.
Does Bibi promote hate of Arabs? No, that’s another slander. The village that saw the highest percentage of votes for Netanyahu was Arab — literally named Arab al Naim. Its residents voted for Likud to show appreciation for the improvements in infrastructure that this supposed Arab hater gave this Bedouin town.
Similarly, Israel under Bibi has been spending millions of shekels to improve schooling and infrastructure in Arab towns. Does this sound like the actions of someone who hates Arabs?
The only hate we see here is exhibited by Michael Lerner.
Lerner likes to pretend that he is supporting Jewish values. He likes to selectively quote parts of Jewish texts, interpret them in ways that fit his biases, and ignore the rest. But that is not Judaism.
A Jewish value is “dan l’chaf zechut,” to give people the benefit of the doubt. But in this case, he takes words that Bibi himself has walked back, and uses absurd extrapolations of those words as his own Torah, while anything that Netanyahu says in plain English that is the exact opposite of what Lerner pretends he is saying is dismissed.
Lerner isn’t being “dan l’chaf zechut.” He is instead violating the very serious Jewish prohibition of “motzei shem ra” — slander. He is taking Bibi’s words out of context, blowing up a mistake out of proportion as if Bibi is trying to justify murdering all Palestinians in response to their genocidal desires, and ignoring the clarifying statements that Netanyahu made almost immediately.
Lerner’s hate extends beyond Bibi to many religious Jews:.
[W]hen a group of Jewish fundamentalists called Atteret HaKohanim (who explicitly believe that it is time to tear down the Al Asqa Mosque, rebuild the ancient Temple, and begin animal sacrifices once again) were allowed by the Israeli government to go to the Temple Mount on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot a few weeks ago, it is no surprise that many Muslims reacted by thinking that the Israeli government, which controls access to the Mount, intended to send a signal to the Muslims that their stay on one of their holiest sites is in danger. Some responded by throwing rocks at these extremists (a response I find unacceptable), and then the Israeli government, rather than restraining the Jewish fundamentalists, shut the Temple Mount to Islamic men under the age of fifty. This is a pattern that happens over and over again, and led to the start of the 2nd Intifada and to the current spontaneous acts of outrage at the Occupation, this time by Palestinians living in Jerusalem who had not joined in previous demonstrations against Israeli occupation.
Lerner, who is supposedly liberal, says that Israel should ban Jews from peacefully walking on their holiest place because some of those walkers would like to see the Third Temple built there. Instead, all Jews must be restricted. Collective punishment is mandatory. Israel, by preserving the status quo of allowing people of all religions to visit the Mount, is — according to Lerner — responsible for forcing the poor Arabs to stab Jews.
How sick is that?
Lerner cannot find a single example of a Jewish “fundamentalist” civilian acting with violence or even insults against the Muslims on the Temple Mount, yet Lerner has more sympathy for the violent Arabs than of the peaceful Jews.
Is that a Jewish value, Lerner?
Another Jewish value is “kol yisrael areivim zeh lazeh,” “all Israel is responsible for one another.” Yet to “Rabbi” Lerner, Arabs who threaten violence because of their hatred of Jews are more worthy of respect than Jews who want the basic rights to visit their holiest place.
What kind of a “rabbi” would prefer the murderers instead of the Jews who merely walk on the The Temple Mount?
One who has no shame.
The article reveals even more hate that Lerner has for Israeli Jews:
While we deplore the murder of random Israeli citizens by their Palestinian neighbors and the murder of (many more) random Palestinians by their Israeli neighbors, … we see all this as the inevitable working out of the logic of Occupation and subordination.
Lerner is accusing Israeli Jews of “murdering” more Arabs than Arabs are murdering Jews.
Not “killing” — murdering.
Which means that Lerner believes that every Arab killed in the process of trying to stab Jews, or of throwing firebombs, has been murdered –– premeditated killings, where the stabbings and Molotovs are merely an excuse for the bloodthirsty, amoral Israeli Jews to target them for death.
This is a slander against the entire people of Israel. And “Rabbi” Lerner is perverting Judaism to pretend that such slander is righteous, not reprehensible.
I urge you to read the entire speech that Netanyahu gave to the 37th Zionist Congress. Because Bibi destroys the lies of Michael Lerner and other haters of Israel, and Lerner does not want anyone to see the rest of that speech, which shows him to be a fool.
Michael Lerner is not practicing Judaism. He is no rabbi. He has created his own new-age cult, using vaguely Jewish-sounding but bogus concepts like “Tikkun Olam” (making the world a better place) as the basis of his newer testament. But scratching below the surface, you can see that his sorry excuse for “faith” is centered on his own hate and that Lerner uses pseudo-Judaism to further his perverted agenda.